JOSEPH WILHELM | ONE WORLD AWARD SPEECH
Opening words of the One World Award 2014
For the fourth time we bestow the One World Award together with our friends from the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM). The award honors people and initiatives that devote their work to a positive orientation of globalization. They create perspectives and employment. Hence they counteract a globalization that only favors the industrialized nations and big multinationals. Until today we, in the rich countries of the northern hemisphere, benefit the most from the globalization.
"We did get used to the universal world order of today and do not like questioning it all that much"
A globalization that goes back to many centuries of colonization. Our wealth and comfortable life is built upon the availability of cheap raw materials and cheap labor. The rules for it have been determined in the past by the colonial powers. And today multinationals are the big beneficiaries. But at the end of the chain are we - the happy consumers in the industrialized nations. Happy about the cheap consumer goods like a smart phone, a car or a cheap cup of coffee. We did get used to the universal world order of today and do not like questioning it all that much. The convenience of our modern life is too great.
Our plates are filled to the brim and we only have to use a small amount of our income for it. In Germany it is on average twelve percent. Our streets and garages are full of cars, second cars and motorbikes – and now even e-bikes. We have a lot of spare time and are not only world champions in football but also in traveling. Thus not only the material wealth is distributed one sided. 20 percent of the world’s population possesses 80 percent of the money and goods.
The lifestyle in the industrialized countries is using a lot more energy and is more harmful to the environment than in poorer countries. Even though we have transferred the polluting industries to low wage countries, we also exported the corresponding burden on the environment. Car manufacturing seems to be cleaner here than it actually is. Aside from the ecological and economical injustice, the social imbalances appear to be a lot more threatening. Wars, starvation and the lack of social perspectives forces people to flee from Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Boat people and refugee camps are normal in the media these days. These are of course very complex matters, not easy to resolve. And they are frigthening. But fear is the worst advisor and dissociation and exclusion are not a solution.
"20 percent of the world’s population possesses 80 percent of the money and goods"
We should be dealing more actively with matters like world justice and world social order. And we should ask the question: What does this mean for my life? How can I, as a single person contribute to change. Experts see the chance for a peaceful transition and the creation of an urgently necessary world order at around 30 percent. At the same time the nations of this earth have to deal with fundamental questions. For example: Who owns the mineral resources and other earth deposits? Who can exploit them? Who can benefit from them? Are the randomly drawn borders of the past still legitimate means to make them saleable national ownership? I believe not. How do we deal with the fact that food is being produced for 13 billion people, yet each year millions starve to death?
It should be mentioned here, that we serve only vegetarian meals at the One World Festival. This way we want to point out that we are burdening the world’s nutrition with our excessive meat consumption. The production of one kilogramm of meat uses on average twelve kilogramms plant based protein. To find solutions to these problems we have to give more power and ways to non profit world organisations in the future.
It will be a long and hard way to have a powerful world organisation or even a world government. From my amateur point of view a world currency would already eliminate current injustice. I mean real money, that belongs to all people and nations and nobody who enriches themselves with it. Everyday a multiple of the actual existing money supply is being sent around the world electronically to hunt exchange rate gains. This would not be possible anymore with a world currency. Finally I would like to introduce my favourite project: The One World Passport.
Of course it would be of symbolic nature. But it would signify: „I am a world citizen with the same rights and obligations as my seven billion fellow citizens. I will not wage war about national borders or because of different beliefs. I am willing to share, because there is enough for everyone.“
With the bestowal of the OWA to extraordinary flagship projects for a better and more just world we would like to encourage you not only to rethink but also to react. Now!